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Old October 10th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #1
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Videographing in Tanzania

I am going to Tanzania sometime next fall or beginning of 2011 to shoot wildlife and wilderness in northern Tanzania - Serengeti, Ngorongoro and possibly Manyara. I have a lot of photo experience of Africa, but have never used video on safari before.

I think that one has to pay $1000 for a professional photo permit. Is that true?

Could somebody advice me to one or a few reliable safari operators for a videographer in Tanzania?
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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:58 AM   #2
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I travelled through all those areas in 2005 for a month, with 'African Safari'. We booked a guide/driver and shot prosumer video of the whole trip without any permits. The guide was excellent and knew all the best locations for videoing and the official rules for each area.

But there are permits needed if you plan a pro video shoot, I saw road signs spelling out the details. Search through this forum.

Cheers.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the answer, Allan,

I have been out in the bush for several months, both with friends and all alone. Quite nice, but now I think that with safari organizer the time used could be more effective, but of course more expensive.

I suppose that with tripod and Sony EX1 or EX3 one would be regarded as "pro" and needing a license?

I believe that one is not allowed to go outside the car when on a trip. Is this strictly enforced? If so, I worry about tripod use. Inside the car? Sitting inside with tripod on the ground? Suction pods? Other solutions?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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Hi Sverker, I'd contact some safari groups for info about a licence, the rules might well have changed. Are you selling your videos?

If you book a solo guided tour, you have the option of chasing your shots based on the guides directions. Couldn't do that in a group tour of course.

In Ngorongoro you stay in one of the lodges around the rim of the volcano and drive down into the park each morning and return late aft. 45mins each way. The wide photo in this link would have been taken from a lodge, we stayed at the Serina.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We had an African model Land Rover with a pop top and a howdah and I shot with a monopod braced against the side. At the lodges you can use a tripod but you can't leave the compounds.

All the drivers communicate the locations of the animals and you race across the plains to get there. They can't leave the prescribed tracks for fear of heavy fines and being banned, and you can't get out of the vehicle.

One time we were chased for a distance by this really pissed off elephant and some lions we saw looked like they were from a 1950s Tarzan movie .. very old.

The aim is to record the African 'big five': Black Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo ... and I did :) The Leopard was the hardest to find, they sleep in trees during the day.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; October 13th, 2009 at 08:40 PM. Reason: typos.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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Sverker, not only am I jealous that you're going, I'm jealous of your first name.

I was just on a shoot there and I know of a few different tour guides. If you book through an agency, you pay alot more. If you book from an individual you pay about 40% less but you run the risk of them running off with your money. Be real careful with deposits. I know of two reliable guides who work out of Moshi that are contracted by the big companies but will work on the side for far less.

Here's the catch, they don't have email. I found them when I was shooting a project on AIDS at the St. Luke's Foundation in Moshi and one of the chemists there had a brother-in-law who was a guide. Ibrahim was his name. Nice guy. English fairly good. I can find that chemists email somewhere if you want it. I put down a hundred dollars (for him to buy food and beer for trip) and then I took a solo trip a few days later for half the cost of most people's group trips. I would go solo, otherwise you'll be fighting with many different nationalities crowded into a rover battling you with 3.1 megapixel nikons and so forth for the best shot.

I have some frame grabs from the trip on my website. greenleafcircle.com

As for permits, in Africa you always need a permit for everything, sometimes. You can PM me for surefire hints at getting all your gear confiscated.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #6
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I will go on a solotrip for sure, with my wife ...

It is always good to lower costs, of course, but my main interest is to have a safe and effective safari. Effective means one or two weeks with at least one perfect shot per day. Lots of animals, the big five, plains with thousands of wildebeest and zebras, waterholes and the Mara river in sunrise or sunset with drinking animals ... well, you know. More time and I think we will run out of storage, power and money.

E-mail is not crucial, i think, since we are going there in more than a year.

Thank you for your answers, both Allan and Matt.

Sverker

Matt: what´s up with my first name ...
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Old December 6th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Whilst this doesn't answer the OP's question it may give you a feel for the way things are going.

SANParks - South African National Parks - Accommodation, Activities, Prices, Reservations
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #8
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Thanks Ray. They're commercial rates of course and now they're getting expensive.

Currently 5 people or less filming, ... R1200 per day or part thereof > $US162.00.
14 days > $US2268 for a permit plus all other travel, accommodation etc.

Cheers.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:35 AM   #9
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Safari

Hello,

I'm From Tanzania, If you are still searching for affordable rates and assurance please send me a PM, I'll provide more information.

Here, Naipenda Safaris Your Number #1 African Safari company My Friends Parents OWN this company, I can find you a better connection and may be it will help you explore Tanzania For a Fair amount and great accomodation.

GoodLuck,
SzB.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #10
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As for camera support, if you haven't already used this when shooting stills in Africa:

I have used a bag filled with rice. If you have a fabric bag to protect your clothes when putting your shoes inside a suitcase you know what kind of bag I mean. Pick a bag size that works with your camera. That may require a sewing machine and a few experiments. Fill the bag with raw rice and seal it with a string. The bag should be about 2/3 - 3/4 filled with rice. When satisfied that this solution works for you, pack the empty bag with your gear and buy rice on arrival to save weight.

Put the bag on the car's roof and grind the camera down onto the bag before shooting. The bag will adjust itself to the shape of the roof and to your camera, the whole thing can be made really stable when shooting, and the bag is unobtrusive when inside the car.

You will soon notice that your driver and whoever else is in the car must be be absolutely still when you shoot. The slightest movement inside the car will show in your shots. Big difference between video and stills there.

The main drawback with the rice bag solution is panning. It's far from a fluid head. Small pans can be OK, but the rice tends to make bigger movements jerky.
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